Submitted: Kathi Rowzie December 15, 2021
When one thinks of leaders in sustainability, it’s unlikely thoughts would turn to a 200-year-old company. But a company’s age doesn’t always mean “old-school.” Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc., the oldest continuously operating paper mill in the United States, is a gold standard example of a company that has built sustainability into the DNA of its business. With a passion for the environment and ingenuity, Monadnock has developed a portfolio of award-winning and sustainably advantaged fine printing, packaging and technical papers.
All Monadnock printing and packaging papers are FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified (FSC C018866) and manufactured using 100% renewable, carbon neutral Green-e certified wind-powered electricity, all under a third-party certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
“We’re proud that our commitment to sustainability has yielded appreciable, measurable and verified environmental impact reductions,” says Monadnock Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard G. Verney. “Monadnock’s ISO 14001 certification demonstrates our holistic approach to educate the marketplace and supply the world’s leading brands with sustainable materials.”
“Over the years we have been recognized by leading environmental organizations and government agencies including the Forest Stewardship Council, the Sierra Club, The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the New Hampshire Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” he adds. “But awards and recognition aren’t why we do it. We do it because we live here. We do it because we raise our families here. And we do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
Monadnock Vice President of Sales and Marketing Lisa Taylor says that the company’s commitment to educating the marketplace about sustainability is a perfect fit with Two Sides’ mission to tell the great sustainability story of print, paper and paper-based packaging. “Given all of the great things that Two Sides does, chief among them is the organization’s relentless focus on truth-telling,” Taylor says. “Communicating verifiable information across the supply and value chain is helping the entire industry to advance. We share with the talented pros at Two Sides the drive, commitment and continued innovation required to keep the industry viable and sustainable now and in the future.”
Adding to its already robust profile of sustainable wood-fiber based papers and packaging materials, Monadnock recently introduced new lines that incorporate alternative fibers, including industrial hemp, cotton linters and recycled jute bags. The material science, engineering expertise and consistency in production the company has developed with wood fiber over the last two centuries is now being harnessed to produce these new alternative-fiber offerings.
On average, industrial hemp contains up to 85% cellulose compared to 30% cellulose content of trees. Hemp fiber is more efficient to pulp and results in energy and water savings because less non-cellulose material is being removed in the process. Hemp Envi Performance Board, available in both coated and uncoated options, has a content mix of 30% industrial hemp and 70% recycled fiber.
Cotton linters, known colloquially as cotton fuzz, are the final, cellulose-rich byproduct of the cottonseed refining process used to make livestock feed, textile fibers and commercial cooking oils. Monadnock uses 100% cotton linters sourced from North America to craft Cotton Envi Performance Board. The cotton industry overall has taken many positive steps in recent years to improve the environmental profile of how it is planted, cultivated and harvested, with reductions in water use and chemicals chief among them.
Jute matures in three months and is an irrigation-free and largely pesticide- and herbicide-free crop. Kona Envi Performance Board is made from a combination of shredded jute coffee bean bags and FSC-certified recycled fiber. Using this material keeps an estimated 25 million coffee bean bags annually from entering the waste stream when they approach the end of their useful lifespan.
For more information about Monadnock Paper Mills, visit www.mpm.com.
For more information on the benefits of Two Sides membership, click here.